Spending will include plan to triple number of hotel rooms by end of 2013

Qatar is to invest £13bn in tourism, including a plan to triple its number of hotel rooms, between now and 2013. Under the plan, which is part of the country’s preparation to bid to host the 2022 Wotld Cup, Qatar will have 30,000 hotel rooms by the end of 2013, up from it current number, about 8,500 rooms.

Ahmed Abdullah al Nuaimi, chairman of state run Qatar Tourism Authority, told ArabianBusiness.com: "We are talking about $20bn (£13bn) of investment in five years, including infrastructure, hotels, airports, and ports, that support tourism."

He added: “"We are not looking at mass tourism. We are targeting the high end and business people."

Qatar’s hotel industry is already mushrooming, with room numbers jumping from 2,700 to 8,500 in the past three years and 40 new hotels, mainly luxury, with around 7,000 rooms due to open in the coming year.

The economy of Qatar, the world's top exporter of liquefied natural gas, is forecast to grow 16% in 2010. Qatar’s new $14.5bn Doha international airport is scheduled to open at the end of this year.